A Chinese Nation Community Consciousness Building Research Center has been inaugurated in occupied Tibet. The center, which is located in the regional capital of Lhasa, is aimed at promoting what the Chinese Communist Party calls "national consciousness" among the Tibetan people.
According to state media reports, the center will research how to promote a sense of "community consciousness" among Tibetans, focusing on promoting the Chinese government's policies in the region. The center will also organize training programs for Tibetan officials and intellectuals on how to promote these policies effectively.
According to recent reports, the "Three Consciences" education and propaganda group in Lang County, Nyingchi City, Tibet Autonomous Region, has gone deep into the field to carry out the tenth round of preaching activities. The group aims to promote the "Three Consciences" education, which includes the promotion of national consciousness, citizen consciousness, and rule of law consciousness.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s campaign aimed at Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) named "Three Consciousness Campaign" seeks to teach the "national consciousness, citizen consciousness, and rule of law consciousness" to Tibetan religious figures, in an effort to control their thoughts and beliefs.
According to Bitter Winter's article, the campaign, which began in May 2022, is seen as a response to the growing success of the Tibetan non-violent resistance movement. The CCP is concerned that Tibetan religious figures may be supporting the movement and encouraging resistance to Chinese rule in the region.
Tibetan religious figures have been subjected to re-education programs before, but this campaign is seen as more extreme. Monks and nuns are being asked to renounce and condemn traditional Tibetan Buddhist practices, including Tsethar, the practice of releasing animals from captivity, and Saka Dawa, a holy month of fasting and abstaining from meat.
Many Tibetans see this campaign as an attempt to strip them of their religious and cultural identity, and force them to accept Chinese rule. Tibetan human rights groups have criticized the campaign, stating that it violates religious freedom and human rights.
In addition to condemning those who do not celebrate Losar, the Three Consciousness Campaign also seeks to teach monks and nuns to take a stand against "farmers' strikes," a form of non-cooperative protest where farmers refuse to cultivate their land to protest the suppression of Tibetan language and culture. This protest started in parts of historical Tibet that are now included in the Chinese province of Sichuan, but it has extended to TAR as well.
All these forms of non-violent protest are seen as a threat to the CCP, which often does not know how to react without causing more protests. The authorities believe their own mythology that all Tibetan protests are organized by monks and nuns and thus try to compel them to "cooperate, or else." However, silencing the nuns and monks will not stop the increasingly successful resistance of the Tibetan people.
This is part of CCP's official attempts to Sinicize Tibetan Buddhism, culture, education and traditions. In December 2022, Chinese official Wang Junzheng emphasized the importance of continuing the sinicization of Buddhism in Tibet and expanding the "Three Consciousness" educational activities in the region. Speaking at a meeting in Lhasa, Junzheng urged officials to strengthen their efforts to consolidate and expand the campaign, which seeks to teach Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns about national consciousness, citizen consciousness, and rule of law consciousness.
Junzheng, who is the head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, emphasized that the "Three Consciousness" campaign is crucial to gathering strength for the comprehensive construction of a new socialist Tibet. The campaign is part of a broader effort by the Chinese government to exert greater control over the region and suppress Tibetan identity and culture.
Despite the campaign faced criticisms, the Chinese government has continued to push forward with the campaign, with officials like Junzheng calling for even greater efforts to promote the "Three Consciousness" and sinicize Tibetan Buddhism.
The preaching activities are targeted towards religious figures, including Buddhist monks and nuns, with the goal of instilling the CCP's ideology and worldview among them. The group has organized various activities, including lectures, discussions, and training sessions, to teach the importance of following the CCP's policies and laws.
The preaching activities are a part of the CCP's ongoing efforts to control the thoughts and beliefs of the Tibetan population, particularly those in religious positions. The group's activities in Lang County reflect the CCP's broader strategy of using education and propaganda to spread its ideology and ensure the loyalty of the Tibetan people to the CCP.
The "Three Consciousness Campaign" is the latest in a series of measures taken by the CCP to control the Tibetan population. The Chinese government has been accused of human rights abuses in the region, including torture, forced labor, and religious persecution. The campaign has sparked international condemnation, with human rights groups and governments calling on China to respect the rights of the Tibetan people.
Edited and collated by Team TRC